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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Bryan to John Ashe
Bryan, William
June 12, 1776
Volume 10, Pages 610-611

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Letter from Col. Wm. Bryan to Brigadier General Ashe.

Johnston County, 12th June 1776.


Agreeable to resolves of the Congress I have Drafted the number of men required from this County though we site of some Difficulties

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that has prevented their march as soon as I intended; some of our men Obstinately refuses to march & says they will die before they will go. The next is the Congress having made no provisions how the militia shall be furnished with arms. I have Indeavoured to borrow or hire Guns though in vain; I then ordered the Captn to send out his Sargants to press Guns, but the people Hides their guns and would not show them and says They don't know how soon they may have Occasion to turn out with them thereselves; the Congress Appointed a Committee in this County to puchase all the Spare arms in the County and they have Purchased the arms so close that it is Impossible to furnish the militia with arms; another bad Sircumstance is Several of Our militia after Drafted Hired persons to take there plases by Giving five or six pounds to Go in there roomes and then Inlisted themselves in the regular Service. There is one Robert Dodd who was Inlisted in the regular Service as Drummer under Captn Ward finding there was a Chance to Git Something applies to his Captain and under a Sham Pretence his Captain pretends to Discharge him and after taking five pounds from another man to Go in his Room then Gows to his Captain again and lists in the regular Service again. If this Method of behaving by men and Officers is allowed of, then there is no possibility of raising or making a Company compleat; for further Intelligance of the matter Inquire of Captain McCulle s who Carreys this Letter. I should be Glad to have that matter layed before the Council as we may know how to proceed. We have Several Obstonate Persons in this County, and I believe they are Great Toreys in their hartes; they are Constantly Sowing Sedition in the minds of the people. I should be Glad the lite Horse Could be Directed to take a turn through our County. I believe if there Could be a few of the heads of them subdued it would be of Great Service to the County. I have So Little Dependance in the militia, that I don't think Conveniant to undertake to subdue them that way.

I am Sir with Great Respect
Your Humble Servt